The line is being set up at its existing aseptic liquid packaging plant in Sanand, Gujarat.
The paper straw manufacturing line will utilize fully-automated Dutch technology, offering a production capacity of approximately 2.4bn straws annually.
The sizes available in U-Shape paper straws will be 145mm and 165mm: they will be attached to and utilized for portion packs for juices and other beverages. UFlex paper straws will be food grade, moisture-resistant and made from sustainably-sourced paper, which is 100% recyclable.
Ashwani Kumar Sharma, president & CEO, aseptic liquid packaging business, UFlex Ltd, said, "In the wake of prohibitions on use of single use plastic coming into force across the world, including Indian government upholding its decision to not exempt some plastic straws from the impending ban, this move by UFlex is not just significant but also timely.
“With the launch of U-shaped paper straws, we are ready to change the dynamics of the industry. We are constantly looking for strategic ways to improve the environmental performance of our products and create avenues for superior, convenient, and sustainable packaging. The line’s installation for ready-to-drink aseptic liquid packaging at our Sanand facility is a great example of our company's commitment toward creating better and safer products for our future generations.
"After the successful installation and commissioning, we aim to attain 100m straw production in the first month and raise it to 200m in the next couple of months. We aim to produce 2.4bn straws annually. The aesthetics and quality of the product are at par with global standards.”
UFlex-Asepto is importing the machinery and equipment from Dutch company Tembo Paper B.V.
Pierre Mousson, managing director, Tembo Paper B.V. said, “We are delighted to be partnering with UFlex Asepto to put up India's first high-volume U-Shape paper straw line. With global restrictions on single-use plastics changing, a long-term solution is urgently required. By combining our significant knowledge and strengths, we are enthusiastic to work together to promote and execute sustainable solutions. In the long run, this cooperation would carve out a significant position in the Indian market for mutual business success.”
Ashok Chaturvedi, chairman and managing director, UFlex Ltd., added, “Sustainability is one of the foundation pillars at UFlex, and we are witnessing that our aseptic liquid packaging industry is progressively moving towards more environment friendly initiatives. Therefore, our emphasis is strongly on ensuring long-term viability of the entire value chain. The paper straws have created a huge impact in the global markets, and we are expecting the Indian market to mirror similar sentiments.”
In FY2021, UFlex announced the doubling of its aseptic liquid packaging capacity to 7bn packs per annum in Sanand and the project, which is near completion, is currently undergoing trial runs.